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Harbourfront Centre launches its fall visual arts exhibitions


TORONTO, September 12, 2007—This fall, Harbourfront Centre is pleased present nine visual arts exhibitions featuring the works of contemporary Canadian and international artists in photography, video, craft and new media. The public opening reception takes place on Friday, September 14, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West. Admission to the reception and the exhibitions is free. The exhibitions run from September 15 to November 4. For information, the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit www.harbourfrontcentre.com.

Exhibition hours for main gallery: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to 8 p.m.; closed Monday except holiday Mondays, noon to 6 p.m. Regular hours for The Craft Studio: Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Please note: York Quay Centre closes at 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 15).

Fall Visual Arts Exhibitions

(Extra)Ordinary: New Art From Brazil showcases the work of four Brazilian artists who share an interest in altering ordinary objects and places.

The Road North/The Road South looks at the myth and mystique of the Great Canadian wilderness in Toronto.

Liza Nguyen’s My Father features photographic images that evoke traces of the memory of her father.

Portraitscapes of War by Rita Leistner is an on-going body of work, of which Lebanon 2006 is the first installment.

Field Notes and Other Invisible Sightings by Tara Cooper features video that looks at the tenuous positions of the observer and the observed.

In imPrint, ceramic artists highlight functional and non-functional ceramic work that incorporates a variety of printing techniques.

• In Touched, glass artist-in-residence Riel Brown, presents new and exciting work.

• Computer generated versions of post-war building facades from urban centres are presented in Eric Galvin’s Bathurst.

Selected works from TERRE OCÉANE by Susan Coolen (from the artist book Terre Océane, which pairs the writing of playwright Daniel Danis with the photographic work of Susan Coolen).

(Extra)Ordinary: New Art From Brazil showcases photographs and video reflecting the work of four Brazilian artists who share an interest in using ordinary objects (i.e. office equipment, plastic bottles and cube vans) and intervening in everyday places (i.e. bathrooms, studio apartments and city streets) so that compelling new (extra) meanings and fictional situations arise. “Throughout this exhibition, the question remains as to whether the art is part of reality or actually a separate entity; there is little differentiation between what is real and what is art,” says the exhibition’s curator Earl Miller. The artists “grant ‘extra’ to the ordinary, not so much celebrating the mundane but actually bettering it,” adds Miller.

(Extra)Ordinary: New Art From Brazil comprises the work of four mid-career artists (Laura Belém, Cinthia Marcelle, Rodrigo Matheus and Sara Ramo) from Belo Horizonte and Sao Paulo, Brazil, who maintain not only an important national presence but also an international one (Lyon Biennial 2007, Havana Biennale 2006, Venice Biennale 2005, Art Miami Basel 2005/6 and the Prague Biennale 2003). These artists are representative of a generation of Brazilian artists who reference Brazilian contemporary art history (the neo-concrete movement beginning in the late 1950s that sought to incorporate art into everyday life) alongside current global re-examinations of conceptual and process art. (Extra)Ordinary: New Art From Brazil is part of Generations, an ongoing focus on ideas in programming at Harbourfront Centre. See end of media release for additional details on Generations.

The Road North/The Road South, by Persona Volare, is a collaboration between The Tree Museum and Harbourfront Centre. Persona Volare examines the connections between an urban and rural environment, and the diminishing space in-between. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, The Tree Museum, (located outside the town of Gravenhurst in the Muskokas), is the only contemporary sculpture site in a rural setting in Ontario. Persona Volare is a collective of Toronto-based artists dedicated to exploring non-museum sites with the intention to infiltrate and transform unlikely spaces. Participating artists from Persona Volare are Carlo Cesta, Michael Davey, John Dickson, Rebecca Diederichs, Brian Hobbs, Lorna Mills, Lisa Neighbour, Chantal Rousseau, Lyla Rye, Kate Wilson and Johannes Zits.

My Father features photographic images of places, objects and testimonies from Liza Nguyen’s book (titled the same as her exhibition), which are presented in an attempt to evoke traces of the memory of Nguyen’s father. The memory of her father prompted Nguyen to constitute a book of photographic and written traces divided in three series. First, a series of places where he lived are alternated with the doctor’s office where he worked and hospitals where he remained. Secondly, a series of objects of everyday life associates her father’s personal objects, his clothes, his shroud, some family albums and her own memories. Thirdly, a series of portraits of witnesses presents these eyes that saw, laid out with their written memories. The idea extracted from their testimonies refers to the general idea of a father. A series of portraits of Nguyen’s family supplements the images from the filmed interviews. My Father is part of Generations.

Portraitscapes of War is a photographic series by Rita Leistner of intimate portraits of individual Lebanese after the summer war of 2006, juxtaposed with wide-angle images of the cityscape in ruin. These diptychs of portraits and landscapes were made in Lebanon during, and in the aftermath of, the Hezbollah-Israel conflict last summer (July 12 to August 14, 2006). Merging journalism with artistic practice, these portrayals of the impact of war raise questions about the relationship between individuals and the contexts in which they find themselves—between citizenship and residency. Portraitscapes of War is an on-going body of work, of which Lebanon 2006 is the first installment.

Field Notes and Other Invisible Sightings by Tara Cooper features video with life-size diorama that looks at the tenuous positions of the observer and the observed. There is a distance implied between these states, a gap where the observer is constantly trying to get closer to the subject. Set within Cornell University’s campus, the protagonist–a woman in her mid thirties, moves from the civilized, rational world of the library, to the dangerous, wild edges of the gorge. The exhibition attempts to address the slippage between humans and nature—a momentary rubbing up of the domestic with the untamed and feral.

Featuring four contemporary Canadian ceramic artists, imPrinthighlights functional and non-functional ceramic work that incorporates a variety of printing techniques. Artists featured are Rebecca Robbins (d.2007), Laura Mckibbon, Jasna Sokolovic, (all from Vancouver) and Susie Osler (Ontario). The exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Rebecca Robbins.

Riel Brown is a glass artist-in-residence who presents new and exciting work in Touched. Mass produced and discarded, objects are regenerated and invested with the capacity to perplex and delight. Touched is Riel’s visual investigation of where the disposable and the handmade intersect.

Service Canada at Harbourfront Centre features Eric Galvin’s Bathurst. A photographic documentation of post-war building facades from urban centres is the basis for constructing computer generated versions, which reference the grids and geometric patterns in modernist, hard-edge painting.

Susan Coolen’s Selected works from TERRE OCÉANE is on display at the Premiere Dance Theatre. Terre Océane, was published in 2003 as a collaborative artist book by Dazibao-Editions Montréal, and it pairs the writing of playwright Daniel Danis with Susan Coolen’s photographic work. Access to the exhibition with paid ticketed performance to the Premiere Dance Theatre.

FOCUS: GENERATIONS
Harbourfront Centre bridges the generation gap. What are the defining moments of your generation? How deep are the roots of your family tree? What legacy will you leave? Generations are defined by history, cultural movements and shared experiences. They both divide and unite us. From September to December 2007, Harbourfront Centre is talking about your generation. Generations is part of an ongoing exploration of ideas in programming at Harbourfront Centre. Our Lens. Your View

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Media Contact:
Linda Liontis
416-973-4381
lliontis@harbourfrontcentre.com


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